Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Clear bush from vacant lots

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2016 | 1:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

It has come to my attention that the clearing of bush on vacant lots has been a major problem for many residents in Jamaica. In light of this, I believe it is quite unfortunate that any person should have to suffer from the negligence of another.

When one considers the number of problems associated with an overgrown lot, it immediately prompts all of us to take an active interest in ensuring that bushy lots are cleared, thus safeguarding the lives of many Jamaicans.

Because of the heavy rainfall that drenched the island late last year, many overgrown lots have become little forests, which have become dumping sites for garbage and dead animals. They are also major breeding grounds for rats, mosquitoes and flies, which are linked to diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, leptospirosis, among others. All of these diseases have debilitating effects and could put a great strain on Jamaica's health services and also impact negatively on workforce man-hours. They also go even further, as overgrown lots are dangerous hideouts for criminals.

In light of this, the law should, and must, be enforced to ensure that property owners clean their lots before the matter gets worse. The Manchester Parish Council has recently sought to enforce the health nuisance act, in which the parish councils serve notices on lot owners, to clear bush from their lots. If they fail to do so, the council proceeds to do de-bushing at their cost and then bill the land owners for pay. If refused to pay within a specific period of time, then the matter is taken before the court. So government agencies come on board and take similar action to resolve the issue.

On the other hand, the costs for bushing and clearing could also be attached to the lot owner's property-tax bills. In that way they will be forced to pay.

Let us clean up beautiful Jamaica. Clean up the issues before the problems gets worse and get out of control. Government, I call on you to save Jamaica now, because an ounce of prevention is better than an ounce of cure.

TANIQUE SMITH

tsmith19@stu.ncu.edu.jm